It's election time in Tamil Nadu and yet again, major political parties in the state are desperate to make alliances to script a story that doesn't favour J Jayalalithaa, who will be eyeing her sixth stint as the chief minister of the southern state.
And like in the past, Vijaykanth's DMDK is being wooed by major parties including the DMK, BJP and the People's Welfare Alliance (PWA) comprising the MDMK, VCK and the Left parties but the actor-politician has kept everybody waiting so far. Sources in the DMK have said the veteran politician has certain demands and the final decision could be taken only by the end of the month.
The BJP will be particularly keen to enter into an alliance with the DMDK, which is known to be a vote-catcher in elections (2009 and 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 2006 and 2011 Assembly polls), after the back-to-back disasters it faced in Delhi and Bihar last year. Speculation is rife that Union minister Prakash Javadekar is likely to meet Vijayakanth or his brother-in-law LK Sudheesh in sometime to talk about an alliance. The fate of a stronger NDA in Tamil Nadu depends heavily on the DMDK leader's stand because of his solid vote-catching, if no seat-winning, ability.
The fact that the DMK and Congress, two former allies who fell apart in 2013 over the Sri Lanka issue but have every possibility of joining hands again, will also keep the saffron party on its toes and strengthen its position in a state where it has not been a strong player.
According to sources, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad spoke to DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi last week and both sides have reportedly shown interest in coming together, forgetting what had happened during the UPA rule (the DMK had pulled out of the UPA at the Centre over the issue of a draft resolution at the UN of the alleged human rights' violations of Sri Lankan Tamils).
However, there are also voices in the DMK that harbour an ambition to forge an alliance with the BJP and DMDK to halt the AIADMK's run. However, given Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cordial relation with Jayalalithaa, one can't be sure whether the former would be comfortable with the idea of going ahead with the DMK. In that case, the DMK's idea will be to go with the Congress and DMDK.
As far as the ruling AIADMK is concerned, apparently it is confident of going all alone and is not in talks with any major party. The party, which looked down following the conviction of Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case in 2014, were boosted once she was acquited by a higher court last year. AIADMK, which had contested the 2011 state elections it had swept in alliance with the DMDK, has the support of parties like the AISMK and MMK and looks to have tie-ups with small outfits like the KMDK.
According to AIADMK sources, the party could eye an alliance with the Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) led by former Congress leader GK Vasan only if the latter agrees to Jayalalithaa's terms.